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Beware of coronavirus scams

State officials say you need to do your research.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — As awful as it sounds, state officials say it's happening already. People are looking to take advantage of others during this pandemic.

The Pennsylvania attorney general says there have already been scams with others trying to use fake unemployment filing websites to get personal information.

There are concerns about emails doing the same or people posing as government officials who say they need personal information to give you a stimulus check.

"The best line of defense, whether it's a phone call or an email you receive, is to hang up or delete it. If it wasn't something you were expecting and it comes out of the blue, it's the safest option," said Tim Arthun of the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities.

State financial officials warn you to be on the lookout for anyone using social media, email, phone calls, mailers, or even visits to raise money for phony companies. They may say they are raising funds for medical supplies or vaccines.

Also, be alert to anyone who says they can help you get rich quick or make up any stock market or other financial losses during this pandemic.

"There are a couple of red flags that can tip off a consumer that it is a scam, and that is creating a sense of urgency like you have to act now, or you need to do something right away. The payment, if someone is telling you to pay with a wire transfer or a gift card," added Arthun.

Financial officials said the best advice is this: never give out any personal information without doing your research, and if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

"The best way for a consumer to protect themselves is really to investigate, contact the authorities or contact us if it's something with securities," explained Arthun.

If you have questions or complaints about financial transactions, companies, or products, you can call 1-800-PA-BANKS (1-800-722-2657).

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